College for the C student

College Summit is encouraging C students from low-income families to apply to college, reports the LA Times.

Krystal Greene, an Inglewood High teacher and College Summit advisor, says, “They need to know that even if you have [a grade point average in the] twos, you can still go to a college; you can go to a Cal State. I see more students who are excited and expecting to go to college now.”

Maybe they can get into Cal State. But will they have the reading and math skills to take for-credit classes and earn a degree? Boosting college enrollment rates is meaningless if the students who go to college get stuck in remedial classes and then quit in frustration.

My niece, who’s starting her sophomore year in college, tutors low-income high school students and worked in a summer program that brought students on campus to study and live in the dorms. The focus is on helping students improve academically so that college is not just a dream but a realistic choice.

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  1. Mrs. Davis says:

    And what will await them when they get out? Would they not be better off learning a skilled trade that is in high demand? These kids are being ripped off by the biggest con yet to be exposed. College is not for everyone.

  2. I blew chunks in high school and graduated with a 2.0, but I got accepted by a private college that was taking a limited number of C students. That was after four years of military service and a lot of maturing. I graduated with a 3.86 GPA and went on to do post-grad. I think the key for me was the four-year growing-up period, and I am forever grateful to my school for giving me a chance.

  3. superdestroyer says:

    It C-students are going to attend third tier universities, they need to be very careful in the selection of majors. They need to find the most normally distributed career fields where the degree or license is the only thing that is important and the school attended is irrelevant. An example would be nursing. They should avoid thoughts of law school, medical school, publishing, the media, and entertainment.

  4. Why kids got poor grades in high school and how motivated they now are to attend college are all factors that are difficult to know. High school grades are not always a good predictor for college performance. If a kid really wants to go to college I say let them try. My high school counselor CRIED when he told me I couldn’t go to college (my required classes had a cumulative gpa below 2.0, my electives on the other hand had a 3.7 gpa) I told him to stop crying, I had already been accepted. Admittedly I got in on the strength of my art portfolio, but I got in and I did OK.

  5. Some kids have a hard time going through their teen years and their high school grades reflect that. When they get their heads on right, and are motivated they can do about anything. We shouldn’t be in such a hurry to close doors for them. Let them go to school, work on general ed stuff, that’s what they should be doing the first year or two anyway, depending on how they handle it, then they look at the options for majors.

  6. ucladavid says:

    UMMM, what about community college? If a kid doesn’t do so well in high school, why not save some money and do the community college route? For many of the kids, they will be doing remedial classes to catch up. All of the kids would be doing the same basic classes of intro to “X subject.” Besides, why spend 10/15/20/25k to find out if a kid is college material?

    My sister was an okay student in high school. Took a few honors/AP classes. Not a great student, but she was mainly a B student with about 900 SAT scores. She decided to go to the local CC for a few years to build up her writing and math and take the intro classes along with changing majors a few times. She got a 3.7GPA at her local CC and transfered to the local Cal State school with no problem.

  7. I was also a C student (at best). I took the community college option, and my grades there were good enough to persuade me to apply to a 4 year school.

    Grades alone shouldn’t determine ambition, but it’s dicey to suggest that all marginal students should apply to 4 year schools.

  8. Colleges routinely accept lower income kids with A averages and dismal abilities. Why shouldn’t they accept C students with equally dismal abilities? The grades don’t mean a thing. Test scores are what matter the most. Until the UCs and the Cal States start mandating a reasonable SAT minimum, then this problem persists. Grades are fraudulent.

  9. Robert Wright says:

    I know of several Mexican-American students who entered a Cal State college with 5th grade reading and writing levels.

    It was very difficult for them but they were stubborn and they worked hard.

    Today they speak, write and read as if they had always been A students.

  10. These narratives always have the same complaints: I know X who did well after. But what fraction of C students did well? Especially if their SATs were also low? [C students with high SATs from good schools are a special case.] One out of three? 10%? 5%? If one out of 100 become top CEOs, does that justify 90 who fail miserably, eat up resources and drag down the level of the school? And what of the low end grads whose college ed is so miserable that it’s worse than a decent high school? Too many college grads already don’t deserve their degrees and many colleges shouldn’t be accredited.

    At some point you have to confront opportunity costs — to them and to society. Otherwise, we would allow D students with low MCATs to become doctors in the hopes that a few would turn out OK.

  11. food for thought

    it also means taking a higher level of courses than many high schools require for their diploma